Hospital data breach impacts 4.5 million patients - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Hospital data breach impacts 4.5 million patients

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Community Health Systems, a hospital network that operates 11 hospitals in Alabama and 206 across the nation, says information for 4.5 million patients has been hacked, CNNMoney reports.

The data breach could impact anyone who was treated in a CHS hospital within the last five years, or was referred there by an outside doctor, according to CNN.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, officials with Trinity Medical Center and its affiliated clinics say they were not affected by the data breach.

The hackers did not gain access to medical histories, credit card information or clinic operations, but were able to obtain names, Social Security numbers, addresses and other information that could be used for identity theft, the article states.

CNN says experts learned the hackers were based in China and launched the attacks between April and June.

The hospitals CHS operates in Alabama include:

-Trinity Medical Center of Birmingham (not affected)

-Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Gadsden

-Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden

-Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston

-Cherokee Medical Center in Centre

You can view a full list of CHS locations in Alabama here: http://www.chs.net/serving-communities/locations/#AL

We are following this developing story closely. Check back with MyFoxAl.com for updates.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

The following information comes from officials with AARP Alabama and are tips for what to do if you are concerned about your information being stolen:

SUBJECT: Social Security Numbers Stolen in a Cyber Security Breach

KEY FACTS:

• If your Social Security number was taken in a cyber security breach, your risk of ID theft is five times greater than the average consumer's. As soon as you can, place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report at the three big credit-reporting bureaus.

o Equifax, 1-800-685-1111

Fraud Hotline: 1-888-766-0008

o Experian, 1-888-397-3742

Fraud Hotline: 1-888-397-3742

o TransUnion, 1-800-916-8800

Fraud Hotline: 1-800-680-7289

• Say yes to added security. If the breached organization offers you a free monitoring service, take advantage of this extra layer of security. Only 20 percent of breach victims do. If they don't offer it to you, ask for it.

• Protect your medical records, which are especially prized in breaches because they fetch more on the black market than financial data. Read every letter you receive from medical insurers and providers — including those that say "this is not a bill" — to ensure that no one's been masquerading as you to get treatment. To be extra safe, ask for a listing of medical insurance benefits paid out in your name each year.

• Keep tabs on recent breaches by going to sites like privacyrights.org/data-breach or idtheftcenter.org. Remember: Not all breaches are reported to victims.

• Monitor your accounts, including your Social Security earnings record. Ask your bank or credit card issuers to set up free email alerts to notify you about activity on your account, including change-of-address requests.

Most Important: If you know someone is using your stolen Social Security number or accessing your accounts, contact your local police or sheriff's department immediately.

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